Charlie Hunnam as Jackson 'Jax' Teller in Sons of Anarchy keyart (FX)

(Photo by FX)

Fall TV is upon us, and there is so much coming your way this month! Check out 13 shows you should catch up on over the long Labor Day weekend and beyond.


Sons of Anarchy 87% (FX)


What it is: The Kurt Sutter series helped secure the bad-boy stance FX is still working today. The crime drama, about an outlaw motorcycle club in California’s Central Valley, starred Charlie Hunnam as Jax Teller, a club member who begins to question the violence and crime of his chosen lifestyle. The series also starred Katey Sagal, Maggie Siff, Ron Perlman, and later Jimmy Smits.

Why you should watch it: To get ready for the next chapter in the Sons of Anarchy saga. There’s a lot riding on Mayans M.C. — and there’s a lot to look forward to when it premieres September 4. The new series follows Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes (JD Pardo), who’s newly released from prison and now a new prospect in the titular biker gang. Fans of Sons of Anarchy know well enough what’s in store for them with this much-anticipated spin-off: a character-driven, tightly woven, violent (at times even grisly) drama. The new series also stars Edward James Olmos, Clayton Cardenas, and Sarah Bolger.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Netflix, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 66 hours


It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia 94% (FXX)


What it is: The premise here is simple, but it works: Five friends (whose ineptitude goes beyond just social cues to pretty much every facet of day-to-day life) run an Irish bar in the titular city and have one misadventure after the next along the way.

Why you should watch it: You don’t become one of the longest-running live-action comedies of all time by sitting on your laurels and getting lazy about the laughs. It’s Always Sunny lays them on thick and fearlessly week to week for 12-going-on-13 seasons strong. That’s a lot to binge — so get to it! Season 13 premieres September 5.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Hulu, MicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 50 hours


Marvel's Iron Fist 37%Marvel - The Defenders 78% | Marvel's Luke Cage: Season 2 (2018) 85% (Netflix)


What it is: Set in New York City, Iron Fist is the story of Danny Rand, a presumed-dead heir to a billion-dollar fortune who returns to New York City 15 years after a fatal plane crash kills his parents (and many believed him). He brings with him a skill set that includes unexplained kung-fu superpowers.

Why you should watch it: While Iron Fist was admittedly not as well received as its Marvel-on-Netflix counterparts, if you’re a fan of the universe, it’s definitely worth tuning in to orient yourself in the world of Marvel’s The Defenders, which also includes Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), and Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who also recently had a second season in which Danny Rand appears. We recommend at least binging Iron Fist season 1 and The Defenders before the former’s September 7 season 2 premiere. Here’s hoping Danny Rand’s new solo outing learned from its missteps the first round.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Microsoft, NetflixVudu

Commitment: Approx. 48 hours for the three seasons


The Deuce 93% (HBO)


What it is: From creator David Simon (The Wire), The Deuce deep dives into 1970s Times Square — more specifically, the men and women dabbling in sex work to make a living. It’s a true ensemble piece, but Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as a prostitute named Candy and James Franco stars as identical twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino.

Why you should watch it: By transporting us to a gritty world of sex, drugs, and an American Dream that’s foreign to most audiences today, The Deuce further proves Simon’s talent for creating series that are absolutely singular and authentic. Plus with talent  like Gyllenhaal and Franco attached, it certainly ranks within prestige TV’s must-watch club. Season 2 premieres September 9.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, HBO NowMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 8.5 hours


Shameless 82% (Showtime)


What it is: This comedy series has been around for so long that it’s hard to define it without giving away eight seasons of spoilers. But at its core, it’s an hour-long dysfunctional family comedy-drama about six children (led by Emmy Rossum as Fiona) who were forced to grow up too fast while under the watch of their single, alcoholic father, Frank (William H. Macy).

Why you should watch it: It’s tricky to strike the balance between broad comedy and aching drama, but it’s a skill that Shameless has perfected since its 2011 debut. Credit where it’s due: Rossum is an absolutely fearless knockout who bests herself season to season. (Soak up this performance while you can — Rossum recently indicated on Facebook that this season might be her last.) It’s an excellent ensemble, and you can’t help but love the Gallagher family (even when they don’t make it easy), but watching the actress and Oscar-nominee Macy go toe-to-toe as the central headstrong daughter and father just gets better with age. Season 9 premieres Sept. 9.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Microsoft, NetflixVudu

Commitment: Approx. 89 hours


American Horror Story 77% (FX)


What it is: You don’t have to watch every season of American Horror Story to catch up for season 8, but as the series’ first crossover season — this time of Murder House (season 1) and Coven (season 3) —  we’d recommend binging those and piecing together just how these witches may be caught up with the spawn of Satan and more.

Why you should watch it: Now going for eight seasons strong and a favorite of critics and audiences alike, this anthological series never ceases to spook. And with returning favorites like Jessica Lange (who won two Emmys for her work on previous seasons) and Ryan Murphy mainstay Sarah Paulson, among many others (Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, and Emma Roberts), Apocalypse is shaping up to be its best outing yet.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, HuluMicrosoft, NetflixVudu

Commitment: Approx. 70 hours


BoJack Horseman 93% (Netflix)


What it is: BoJack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett) was once the hottest horse in town, star of a hit sitcom and riding high in Tinseltown. Fast-forward 20 years, though, and he’s a depressive has-been — and our titular protagonist of this hit Netflix comedy.

Why you should watch it: It’s not often that an alcoholic horse and a fictionalized Hollywood full of as many flawed humans as talking animals teaches you about yourself, but this one does — trust us! While it’s an acquired taste for any viewer, there’s reason BoJack’s blend of pitch-black humor and weighty human circumstance has gained such a cult following over the last four seasons. Catch up before season 5 premieres September 15.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 24 hours


9-1-1 81% (Fox)


What it is: 9-1-1 was a hit from the start. By humanizing members of New York City’s police and fire department as they go above the call of duty in larger-than-life circumstances — all while grappling with their own personal dramas on the home front — the series has earned its spot as one of last year’s strongest newcomers.

Why you should watch it: There’s no doubt that television has been attracting some top-tier talent to the small screen over the last few years, and a series like 9-1-1 — with an ensemble including Angela Bassett, Connie Britton, and Peter Krause paired with a producer like Ryan Murphy — is that trend seen at its very best. Fun, over-the-top escapism abounds in this drama series, but never at the expense of its heart.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, HuluMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 7 hours


Young Sheldon (CBS)


What it is: We all know that The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon has a one-of-a-kind genius mind, but did you ever wonder just what he was like as a kid? Young Sheldon answers that question and then some while charting the nine-year-old boy-genius’s life.

Why you should watch it: Young Sheldon provides something that we haven’t seen before: a reinterpretation of a beloved multi-camera sitcom character as a single-camera, family-friendly, and heartwarming dramedy. Better yet, because this is a prologue series to Jim Parson’s Sheldon, our protagonist’s mother, Mary, is played by Zoe Perry, the real-life daughter of Laurie Metcalf, who stars as the same character on The Big Bang Theory! It’s a small-screen first. Season 2 premieres September 24.

Where to watch: AmazonCBS All Access, FandangoNOW, Google PlayMicrosoft

Commitment: Approx. 8 hours


The Gifted 79% (Fox)


What it is: Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker star in this Marvel series as seemingly normal husband and wife Reed and Kate Strucker who, upon discovering their children’s mutant abilities, take them on the run from those who fear mutants.

Why you should watch it: Will we ever live in a world where there’s too much Marvel? So long as the universe’s crop of series are of the caliber of The Gifted, we’re inclined to say no. Just like the very best releases from the X-Men franchise, this series is heavy on the action, while also packing an emotional punch — and it even delves into political territory, dramatizing prejudices against the “other,” anti-establishment activist movements, extremists groups, and more. Season 2 premieres September 25.

Where to watch: AmazonFandangoNOW, Google Play, HuluMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 9.5 hours


Lethal Weapon 89% (Fox)


What it is: The Lethal Weapon films starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover have become somewhat canon for ’80s action nostalgia — so it makes all too much sense that the opposites-attract buddy-cop flick would get a modern reboot. Damon Wayans steps into the shoes of Glover for this one, and while Clayne Crawford took over for Gibson for the first two seasons, Seann William Scott is stepping in this season after behind-the-scenes drama led to Crawford’s dismissal.

Why you should watch it: There’s something inherently appealing about a marriage of the fish-out-of-water and opposites-attract formulas, and the effort holds up for this latest small-screen reboot. With Scott added to the mix, we’re in for even more fun this season. Catch up before season 3 premieres September 25.

Where to watch: AmazonFandangoNOW, Google Play, HuluMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 30 hours


Empire 84% (Fox)


What it is: A family drama of Shakespearean proportions, Empire charts the various rises and falls of the Lyon family — for starters, those of patriarch Lucious (Terrence Howard), a hip-hop mogul who’s in the process of choosing an heir to his musical throne.

Why you should watch it: Nothing short of a phenomenon upon its premiere in 2015, Empire is classic Lee Daniels: engrossingly soapy, slightly camp, meticulously performed, and endlessly entertaining. Taraji P. Henson does some of the best work of her career as the scene-stealing and wig-snatching Cookie Lyon. She alone is worth the watch, but it helps that she has an excellent ensemble at her back, led by Howard who acts as the very best foil to her scheming. Season 5 premieres September 26.

Where to watch: AmazonFandangoNOW, Google Play, HuluMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 48 hours


The Good Place 97% (NBC)


What it is: Talk about a creative spin on the afterlife! Kristen Bell stars as the recently deceased Eleanor Shellstrop, who by some glitch in the system ends up in the “Good Place,” a Utopian haven for those who served their lives on Earth with grace that was designed by Ted Danson’s Michael. Thing is: Eleanor doesn’t actually fit the bill of admittance and has to keep her righteous new friends fooled if she wants to stick around.

Why you should watch it: The Good Place is certainly among the best network comedies of recent memory. An always-charming Bell and TV royalty Danson play off of each other in a way that — what the fork!? — simply works. We can’t wait to see the good places they take us come season 3’s September 27 premiere.

Where to watch: AmazonFandangoNOW, Google Play, HuluMicrosoft, NetflixVudu

Commitment: Approx. 9 hours

If you’re casting a television series about a judge who suffers a breakdown and thinks he’s receiving messages from God that put him on a path of vigilante justice, you need a guy with both gravitas and imposing menace — and fortunately Amazon’s new Hand of God series, debuting this week, found a leading man with both of those qualities in Ron Perlman, occasional Hellboy and character actor supreme. Whether he’s appeared au naturel or under makeup, worked live action or voiced animated characters, Perlman’s distinctive talent has been entertaining audiences for 30 years, and he’s assembled an eclectic filmography along the way. It’s about time we honored Mr. Perlman with the Total Recall treatment, wouldn’t you say?


Amoukar, Quest for Fire (1981)

Quest for Fire

A latex-covered Perlman got his big break in this award-winning adaptation of the 1911 novel, about a Neanderthal war for fire — and the dangerous quest undertaken by a small band of tribesmen who are forced to find another source after their clan’s fire is stolen by a rival tribe. An hour and 40 minutes of grunted dialogue and dirty caveman sex obviously isn’t what most filmgoers have in mind when they head out for a night at the cineplex, but Quest for Fire managed to perform relatively well at the box office, and became something of an early ‘80s cult favorite — as well as a hit with critics like Janet Maslin of the New York Times, who said it was “more than just a hugely enterprising science lesson, although it certainly is that. It’s also a touching, funny and suspenseful drama about prehumans.”

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Vincent, Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990)

Beauty and the Beast

Going under heavy makeup for Quest for Fire helped Perlman launch his career, so perhaps it’s fitting that things didn’t truly take off for him until he put on prosthetics again — this time for Beauty and the Beast, an unlikely-seeming hit drama that aired for three seasons on CBS between 1987-’90. A modern retelling of the oft-adapted fable, this Beauty posited our hero as a member of a secret community below New York City whose disfigurement masks a noble warrior’s heart — as evidenced when he rescues a lawyer (Linda Hamilton) from a brutal attack, saving her life and starting one of the era’s most swoonworthy TV love affairs. The show burned bright but fast — ratings started fading in the second season, and Hamilton’s departure the following year cemented its fate in the third and final batch of episodes — but it earned Perlman a Golden Globe and a whole new lease on his professional life.

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Angel de la Guardia, Cronos (1993)

Cronos

Perlman started his continuing association with Guillermo del Toro in this 1993 horror movie, about the gruesome series of events that unfolds after an old man (Federico Luppi) discovers an ancient scarab that injects him with a mysterious substance — one which restores his youthful vitality, but leaves him with a thirst for blood. Perlman stars in a supporting role as the ironically named Angel de la Guardia, a hoodlum sent on a quest by his elderly uncle, who craves the scarab’s restorative powers; the path of violence he carves in pursuit of his goal sets in motion some of Cronos’ most memorably horrific sequences. It barely registered a blip on the U.S. box office, but Cronos was an instant hit with critics; as an appreciative Ken Hanke wrote for the Asheville Mountain Xpress, it is “one of the most intelligent — and strangely moving — horror films ever made.”

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One, The City of Lost Children (1995)

City of Lost Children

Perlman’s work with Guillermo del Toro has placed him within some pretty remarkable cinematic worlds, but his sojourn into Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro’s City of Lost Children might be the most visually striking of them all: a dense, whirring dystopia where an evil scientist (Daniel Emilfork) steals the dreams of kidnapped children. Their only hope is One (Perlman), a circus strongman whose younger brother is among the lost — and for whom he’ll set out on an arduous journey to rescue. Rife with sights that will haunt the viewer long after the credits roll, City won praise from critics like Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle, who recommended it as “a dark phantasmagoria so visually amazing and provocative — yet dense and confusing — that viewers may need to see it more than once to take it all in.”

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Norman Arbuthnot, The Last Supper (1996)

Ron Perlman
Witty equal-opportunity political humor has become something of a lost art on the big screen over the last decade or so, but thing’s weren’t always this way. For proof, simply look to 1995’s The Last Supper, an ensemble indie comedy about a group of young liberals (including Cameron Diaz, Ron Eldard, and Annabeth Gish) who begin poisoning conservative dinner guests as part of a misguided campaign to save the world. While the murder victims aren’t terribly sympathetic, their murderers aren’t especially likable either — so by the time they cross paths with a Limbaugh-esque conservative pundit (played by Perlman), loyalties to either ideological extreme have been tested. “In today’s divisive political climate, where compromise is a dirty word,” observed Leslie Rigoulot of Film Scouts, “The Last Supper raises not only timely questions but moral dilemmas as well.”

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Marshal Nalhober, Happy, Texas (1999)

Happy Texas

A goofy Steve Zahn comedy with a minuscule budget and a box office tally that wasn’t much bigger, Happy, Texas gave Perlman the opportunity to steal scenes in another supporting role: Marshal Nalhober, a straight-shooting cop in hot pursuit of three escaped prisoners (Zahn, Jeremy Northam, and M.C. Gainey) posing as the organizers of a local beauty pageant. Eminently quotable and buoyed by a smart, rootsy soundtrack, Happy provoked appreciative guffaws from critics like Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times, who called it “a hoot, a hilarious comedy that’s smart and caring, yet sexy and ingenious enough that it just might stir up some of that elusive Full Monty-style box-office appeal.”

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Hellboy, The Hellboy Franchise

Hellboy

Perlman went back under the makeup — and reunited with his Cronos and Blade II director, Guillermo del Toro — for 2004’s Hellboy, an adaptation of the popular Dark Horse Comics title. Grossing under $60 million in the U.S., it was something of a disappointment at the box office, but Perlman and Del Toro were a natural fit for the franchise; four years after the first Hellboy, Perlman teamed up again with Guillermo del Toro for another round of supernatural fun — and while the original Hellboy earned mostly positive reviews, the sequel was an even bigger critical winner. A gleeful blend of popcorn thrills and uniquely del Toro visual splendor, Hellboy II: The Golden Army reunited the original cast for an epic battle between the forces of good and an irate elven king (Luke Goss) who wants to reignite the long-dormant war between elves and humans. While it was overshadowed at the box office by The Dark Knight and Iron Man, it still earned over $160 million — and earned the admiration of critics like Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who called it “the biggest, richest, most imaginative superhero movie of the summer.”

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Ed Pollack, The Last Winter (2006)

The Last Winter

A sort of cross between An Inconvenient Truth and The Thing, this wintry thriller found writer/director Larry Fessenden returning to the themes of isolation he explored in Wendigo, while adding an ecologically conscious twist: at a remote ANWR drilling base, a team of workers (led by Perlman) starts dying off, casualties of “sour gas” released as a side effect of global warming — or are they under attack from vengeful spirits of the Earth? Though it screened in extremely limited release, The Last Winter received more than a few positive reviews from critics, including Aaron Hillis of Premiere Magazine, who called it “A richly drawn, ambitious character piece both socially relevant and genuinely suspenseful” before concluding, “This is filmmaking both gorgeous and deeply unsettling.”

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Father Duffy, I Sell the Dead (2008)

I Sell the Dead

Perlman and his Last Winter director, Larry Fessenden, re-teamed for this 2008 black comedy — only this time, they were both on the same side of the camera. Helmed by Glenn McQuaid (who also worked behind the scenes on The Last Winter), I Sell the Dead recounts the story of a pair of Irish grave robbers (played by Fessenden and Dominic Monaghan), as told to a jailhouse priest (Perlman). A bizarre mashup of 19th-century period thriller and zombie/alien comic gore, Dead had a blink-and-you-missed it theatrical run, playing on only two screens, but even some of the critics who couldn’t recommend it found the film impossible to dislike — such as Ty Burr of the Boston Globe, who mused, “If it’s not actually a good movie, on some level you have to admire the chutzpah of a film set in 1850s Ireland but shot on Staten Island.”

Watch Trailer


Clay Morrow, Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014)

Sons of Anarchy

Perlman stayed busy on television in the years after Beauty and the Beast, consistently booking voice work and episodic guest spots on shows even as his film roles continued to pile up — and putting him in a uniquely enviable position as the small screen’s new golden age made the prospect of snagging a regular series gig increasingly appealing to a widening circle of Hollywood vets. It paid fresh dividends with Sons of Anarchy, the 2008-’14 FX hit that spun circles of tightly woven (and increasingly dark) drama out of the inner lives of a California motorcycle gang whose second-generation vice-president (Charlie Hunnam) finds himself increasingly at odds with the gang’s morally ambiguous leader (Perlman). Consistently critically acclaimed, Sons set ratings records for the network — and offered Perlman an opportunity to prove he could help anchor a series without a lion-shaped prosthetic covering his face.

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Finally, here’s one of Mr. Perlman’s first television appearances — the role of Dr. Bernie Marx on a 1979 episode of the daytime serial Ryan’s Hope:

This week on streaming video, we’ve got an anticipated film adaptation of a popular novel, an acclaimed drama that won Julianne Moore an Oscar this year, and the final season of a popular AMC drama series to lead things off. Then, we’ve got a few smaller films you may have missed and Helen Hunt’s latest directorial effort (which is simultaneously in theaters). Read on for the full list.

Fifty Shades of Grey

25%

Dakota Johnson plays Anastasia Steele, a timid undergrad tasked with interviewing a wealthy, good-looking entrepreneur named Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). The mutual attraction is clear, but Ana soon learns that Christian has some rather unusual bedroom habits and must decide whether or not she’ll follow his lead.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu

Still Alice

85%

Julianne Moore took home the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in this Certified Fresh drama about a linguistics professor who is diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease; Kristen Stewart and Alec Baldwin turn in sharp supporting roles.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu

Mommy

88%

This Certified Fresh drama from Montreal’s Xavier Dolan is the story of a single mother dealing with her difficult teenage son.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes

Ride

52%

Hitting VOD the same day it opens in theaters, Helen Hunt’s film stars herself as a strict single mother who learns to loosen up when she moves from New York to Los Angeles to be closer to her son, who’s dropped out of college to surf.

Available now on: iTunes, Vudu

Sons of Anarchy – Season 7

The final season of AMC’s popular hit show brings the saga of SAMCRO to a fitting Shakespearean conclusion, filled with the character work and gripping action that made it a fan favorite.

Available now on: Netflix

Alamar (To the Sea)

91%

This Certified Fresh quasi-documentary about a father-son fishing trip is distinguished by its lyrical pacing and gorgeous locations.

Available now on: Amazon Prime

Afghan Star

100%

This Certified Fresh documentary is an enlightening and sobering chronicle of an attempt to create an American Idol-esque talent competition for Afghan television.

Available now on: Amazon Prime

Better Call Saul ends its first season this month, so now you can watch every episode in one 10-hour binge (and then wait forever like the rest of us for season two). And there’s still time to catch up on comedies Louie and Silicon Valley, before they come back this month. For those of you curious about joining the Clone Club, now is the time to binge the first two seasons of Orphan Black in time for Apr. 18. These, and other recommendations are below to satisfy any binge-watching tastes this month!


Better Call Saul

What it is: Before he was Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, Albuquerque’s shadiest (and funniest) lawyer was Jimmy McGill.

Why you should watch it: For people who like to watch everything at once, season one will be ready for you to view in its entirety after the finale on AMC, Tuesday, Apr. 7. Essential viewing for Breaking Bad fans, Better Call Saul is also a stand-alone drama, engrossing and darkly comic, with knock-out performances by Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks.

Where to watch: Every episode of season one is available on Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, iTunes, Xbox Video, and Vudu.

Commitment: 10 hours.


Orphan Black

What it is: After seeing “herself” jump in front of a train, a young woman discovers she is a clone and, with the help of the others like her, falls into a conspiratorial whirlwind of mystery and deception.

Why you should watch it: Tatiana Maslany has received attention her performances as each clone, but that’s not the only reason to watch. Suspense, drama, action, and a touch of tongue-in-cheek humor make this one a must-see for fans of varying genres.

Where to watch: Orphan Black returns with its season three premiere on Apr. 18. Seasons one and two are available on Xfinity, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Sony Playstation, Google Play, Xbox Video, and DirecTV. Both seasons are also available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Commitment: 20 hours.


Sons of Anarchy

What it is: Kurt Sutter’s hit series from FX follows the exploits of the biker club SAMCRO, and its “president” Jax Teller (Charlie Hannum).

Why you should watch it: Sons of Anarchy rode off into the sunset earlier this year and left a legion of loyal fans and adoring critics in its wake. The Shakespearean themes of this gritty drama give poetic undertones to the violent lives (and deaths) of these characters.

Where to watch: Seasons one through six are streaming on Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. Season seven will debut on Netflix on Apr. 25. Every episode is also available on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, Xbox Video, and Google Play.

Commitment: 85 hours.


Silicon Valley

What it is: In Mike Judge’s comedy set in Bay Area’s tech universe, Richard (Thomas Middleditch) and his team of socially awkward developers make an app, catching the attention of the area’s billionaire investor.

Why you should watch it: Short and sweet, season one of Silicon Valley is an easy catch-up before season two premieres on Sunday, Apr. 12. The cast, featuring Middleditch, T.J. Miller, and Kumail Nanjiani, perfectly capture the oddball characters who rule the Internet.

Where to watch: Seaon one is available on HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, iTunes, Xbox Video, and DVD and Blu-ray.

Commitment: 4 hours.


Penny Dreadful

What it is: Penny Dreadful creates a frightening variant of Victorian London, where horrific figures from classic literature such as Dr. Frankenstein, the Creature, Dorian Grey co-exist and terrorize the city.

Why you should watch it: The gore is intensified by the element of high drama, earning season one a Certified Fresh Tomatometer score of 78 percent.

Where to watch: Penny Dreadful season two begins May 3 on Showtime. Seasons one is available on Showtime Anytime, iTunes, Vudu, and Amazon Instant Video. It’s also available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Commitment: Eight hours.


Black Sails

What it is: This prequel to Treasure Island chronicles the rise of John Silver (Luke Arnold) and the adventures of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens).

Why you should watch it: The series, which just finished airing season two, takes a deeper look at the politics during the Golden Age of Piracy than the usual swashbuckling and copious use of the phrase, “Arrrrrr!”

Where to watch: Both seasons are streaming on Starz Play. Every episode is also available on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play.

Commitment: 20 hours.


Looking

What it is: Three gay men ride the turbulent waves of the San Francisco dating scene while maintaining their friendships and careers.

Why you should watch it: Though recently canceled, season two of Looking begins streaming on iTunes on Apr. 20. Its honest depiction of sexual and emotional issues grabbed critics’ attention with season one, which is Certified Fresh at 89 percent, and continued to impress critics and fans (currently petitioning for its revival) throughout its short run.

Where to watch: Seasons one and two are available on HBO Go and iTunes (season two iTunes as of Apr. 20). Season one is also available on Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, X Box Video, and Amazon Instant Video. Season one is available on Blu-ray and DVD (season two is available for pre-order).

Commitment: Nine hours.


Manhattan

What it is: A family drama set in Los Alamos, NM, portrays the development of the Manhattan Project and the invention of the atomic bomb.

Why you should watch it: Manhattan uses the government’s top secrecy to explore drama and intrigue on a family level. It also drives you to root for this band of scientists struggling with the dilemma of creating such a fearsome weapon, and not being able to tell their loved ones about it.

Where to watch: Season one is available on Hulu Plus, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Xbox Video ,and YouTube Purchase.

Commitment: 13 hours.


Louie

What it is: In this quasi-autobiographical FX series, Louis CK plays himself, a stand-up comedian and single dad living in New York City.

Why you should watch it: Louis CK’s encapsulation of the human experience is at once hilarious and sad and his hometown of The Big Apple is the perfect setting for examining everything wonderful, awful, and downright weird about people.

Where to watch: Seasons one through four are available with a subscription to Amazon Prime and Netflix. All four seasons are also available on Google Play, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, XBox Video, and DVD.

Commitment: 27 hours, and with season five coming to FX on Apr. 9, you better start now!


The X-Files

What it is: FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate unexplained paranormal phenomena. Mulder wants to believe, but Scully is a skeptic.

Why you should watch it: With the announcement of an X-Files reboot, there’s no time like to present to familiarize yourself with the show — especially if you’re a fan of aliens, conspiracies, unexplained phenomena, or just really good mysteries.

Where to watch: All nine seasons of The X-Files are available on DVD and streaming on Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and Netflix. You can also download every episode from iTunes and Vudu.

Commitment: 154 hours.


Which of these shows would you recommend to a friend? Let us know in the comments section below!

This week on home video, we’ve got a couple of Oscar winners, a comedy sequel, and the final season of a popular drama. Then, we’ve got another Oscar nominee and a handful of smaller releases that might be worth your time. Read on for details:

Big Hero 6

90%

It’s official: Big Hero 6 is the Best Animated Feature of 2014 according to the Academy, and now you can chortle and coo at Baymax in the comfort of your own living room. Loosely based on the Marvel comic of the same name, the film takes place in the fictional metropolis of San Fransokyo, where a young robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) who enrolls in a super exclusive school for gifted scientists after the death of his older brother. Faced with the possibility of tracking down his brother’s killer, Hiro teams up with his new friends — and invents some hi-tech gear for them — in order to bring the villain to justice. Critics were big fans of the animation in Big Hero 6, as well as the action-packed story and surprisingly heartfelt touches, leading to a Certified Fresh 90 percent Tomatometer score. As a bonus, the Blu-ray will also get you the Oscar-winning animated short Feast, as well as the requisite behind-the-scenes featurettes and deleted scenes.

Whiplash

94%

Speaking of Oscar wins, the one category that was arguably a complete lock was Best Supporting Actor, which went to J.K. Simmons for his portrayal of a draconian music conductor in Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash. Based on Chazelle’s own experiences, the film starred Miles Teller as ambitious jazz drummer Andrew Neiman, who comes under the tutelage of notoriously brutal instructor Terence Fletcher (Simmons) at a prestigious music school. Fletcher pushes Andrew to extremes, leading to a battle of wills and a climactic showdown. Critics gushed over Whiplash, rewarding it with a Certified Fresh 95 percent on the Tomatometer not only for the impressive performances from Simmons and Teller, but also for the film’s sustained tension and superb sound and editing. The particularly notable audio commentary track features Simmons and Chazelle, but the Blu-ray also comes with a 43-minute piece on professional drummers, Chazelle’s original 18-minute short which was expanded into the feature film, and more.

Horrible Bosses 2

35%

2011’s Horrible Bosses was a successful ensemble comedy that made the most of its stars talents, and while the film didn’t feel especially ripe for a sequel, it was somewhat inevitable. This time around, pals Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) embark on an entrepreneurial venture producing a new shower head. When the trio is duped by an unscrupulous investor (Christoph Waltz), they decide the best course of action is to kidnap his son (Chris Pine) for ransom. It’s often rare for comedy franchises to strike gold twice in a row, especially when the first film relies on a specific premise that’s abandoned in its sequel, and Horrible Bosses 2 fell prey to the sophomore jinx, clocking in at 35 percent on the Tomatometer. Critics were unamused by what they called lazy writing and witless humor, but it might still tickle your fancy if you’re a fan of its three stars.

Sons of Anarchy: Season Seven

Late last year, FX’s popular biker drama Sons of Anarchy finally came to a close after seven seasons, and by most counts, its final year was a success. Built on a foundation of deep character development, bursts of violent action, and dark family drama, SOA hurtled into its finale with six straight Fresh seasons under its belt — all at 78 percent or above. The final episode itself was well-received at 88 percent, and though its Shakespearean conclusion was something of a given, most agreed it was satisfying and effective nonetheless. The complete series was previously available with an empty slot for the season seven package, and you can pick that up this week — or you can pick up the complete series with season seven included as well.

Also available this week:

  • Code Black (91 percent), a documentary focusing on the Los Angeles County Hospital’s trauma ward, the busiest emergency department in the country.
  • Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights (81 percent), starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker in a Certified Fresh romantic drama about a pop diva who begins to question her career trajectory. The film was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category.
  • The Borderlands (79 percent), a horror film about a team of investigators looking into reports of paranormal activity at a remote church in England.
  • Private Peaceful (64 percent), starring Jack O’Connell and George MacKay in a war drama about two brothers who grow up rough and enlist in the military together.
  • Cantinflas (29 percent), starring Óscar Jaenada and Michael Imperioli in a drama about the famous titular Mexican entertainer.
  • And finally, two choices from the Criterion Collection: Federico Fellini’s Fellini Satyricon (78 percent), a surrealist portrait of Rome, is available in a new DVD and Blu-ray; and the 1978 animated adaptation of Watership Down (82 percent), Martin Rosen’s haunting rabbit tale of survival, is also available in a new DVD and Blu-ray.

This week at the movies, we’ve got a Biblical epic (Exodus: Gods and Kings, starring Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton) and a conflicted comedian (Top Five, starring Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson). What do the critics have to say?

Exodus: Gods and Kings

30%

It’s got a daring escape from slavery, the parting of the Red Sea, the unveiling of the Ten Commandments, and a literal river of blood — yep, the Book of Exodus is certainly one of the Old Testament’s most action-packed installments. Unfortunately, critics say that while Exodus: Gods and Kings director Ridley Scott mostly succeeds in crafting an eye-popping spectacle, he fails to bring the story’s legendary people to vivid life. You probably know the story, but if not, here goes: the orphaned Moses (Christian Bale) was raised by the Pharaoh, but he’s cast out when it’s discovered that his parents were Jewish. God reveals to Moses that he’s been chosen to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but first he must free his people before undertaking an epic trek across the desert. The pundits say Exodus: Gods and Kings mostly avoids taking a theological stand on the story, but as a result the film’s spectacular visuals overwhelm the heat and passion this oft-told tale continues to evoke. (Watch our video interviews with Scott and stars Bale, Joel Edgerton, and Aaron Paul, and check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down co-star Sigourney Weaver’s best-reviewed films.)

Top Five

86%

Few would deny that Chris Rock is one of the best standup comedians of his generation — or that, for the most part, his movie career has left something to be desired. That’s about to change, as critics say Top Five represents a career peak for Rock as a director and actor — it’s a semi-autobiographical portrait of the artist as a neurotic that recalls Woody Allen at his best. Rock plays Andre Allen, a popular comic actor who’s about to be married to a famous reality TV star. He agrees to be profiled by a New York Times reporter (Rosario Dawson), and as they stroll about the city, Allen begins to question the decisions he’s made in his life and career. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Top Five is blessed with palpable chemistry between its leads, and the result is timely, insightful, and often hilarious. (Watch our video interviews with Rock and co-stars Anders Holm, Ben Vereen, and JB Smoove.)

What’s Hot on TV:

Critics say the final episode of Sons of Anarchy is, like the series itself, both twisty and turbulent, but ultimately, “Papa’s Goods” (87 percent) is a fitting farewell to the SAMCRO gang that ties up loose ends in an involving, poetic fashion.

The penultimate episode of HBO’s The Newsroom, “Oh Shenandoah,” stirred up a lot of internet chatter this week, and much of it was negative; critics objected to everything from a subplot on campus rape to the unprompted death of a major character.

Also opening this week in limited release:

This week, FX and HBO dominate TV Talk, as Sons of Anarchy breaks its ratings record, Cuba Gooding Jr. signs on to play O.J. Simpson, and Fargo announces season two casting. Plus, HBO moves forward with its stand-alone service while The Leftovers flirts with moving away from Mapleton.

HBO hopes to launch new service in time for Game of Thrones

According to a report obtained by Fortune this week, HBO is getting closer to launching its standalone subscription service — a streaming option for both cable and non-cable subscribers. Unlike Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, however, HBO plans to share its content via the third-party host MLB Advanced, which already provides similar services to other programming outlets, such as WWE and MLB.tv. This should be welcome news to customers who were livid when HBO Go was over capacity during season four of Game of Thrones, but the developments also led to the resignation of HBO’s Chief Technology Officer, Otto Berkes, who had been developing an in-house streaming platform known as Project Maui. HBO’s standalone service is expected to launch in April 2015 — just in time for the Game of Thrones season five premiere.

Cuba Gooding Jr. to play O.J. Simpson in FX miniseries.

Producer Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) has cast two major roles for his upcoming miniseries about O.J.Simpson, marking the debut of FX’s new anthology series, American Crime Story. Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry McGuire) will star as former football star O.J.Simpson, on trial for the murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. Sarah Paulson, who currently stars in Murphy’s American Horror Story franchise, will play Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor during the 1995 trial. American Horror Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson is based on the book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin. Fingers crossed they get Phil Morris (aka Jackie Chiles) for the part of Johnnie Cochran.

Are The Leftovers leaving Mapleton?

Deadline is reporting a big shake-up for HBO’s second season of The Leftovers, Damon Lindelof’s adaptation of the Tom Perrotta novel by the same name. According to Nellie Andreeva, most of the first season’s supporting cast will disappear for season two. But many of the leads will still be on the show, including Justin Theroux as Kevin Garvey, plus his family played by Amy Brenneman, Margaret Qualley, and Chris Zylka. Carrie Coon’s character, Nora Durst, is also expected to return, as well as Christopher Eccleston, who plays her brother, Reverend Matt. The biggest reboot for season two appears to be a change of scenery, with reports that the show’s producers plan to expand the story beyond the borders of Mapleton, NY. Perhaps we’ll be meeting some new cults? Season one of The Leftovers is Fresh at 70 percent.

Sons of Anarchy rides out on a high.

This week’s series finale of Sons of Anarchy broke ratings records for FX, bringing in 6.39 million viewers — the most in the show’s seven-year run. The two-hour finale beat out CBS’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (typically the highest rated broadcast in the coveted adults 18-49 demo), and might even be the highest rated telecast in FX history once all the numbers are tallied up. While off to a slow ratings start in 2008, Sons ranks second only to The Walking Dead among all basic cable dramas in adults 18-49 for 2014. See reviews for the Sons series finale, “Poppa’s Goods,” here — but beware spoilers!

Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons cast in Fargo season two.

We’re finally getting some news about Noah Hawley’s second season of Fargo, FX’s anthology series inspired by the eponymous 1996 Coen Brothers film. Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) and Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights) will topline season two, which will take place in 1979 Sioux Falls. Dunst will star as Peggy Blomquist, a small-town beautician with big-city dreams, while Plemons will play Ed — a butcher’s assistant married to Peggy. The second chapter of the Fargo anthology will connect to season one via Lou Solverson (still uncast), the character of Molly’s father played this year by Keith Carradine. Season two will be 10 episodes, with production kicking off in Calgary this January.

This week at the movies, we’ve got an avenging hitman (John Wick, starring Keanu Reeves and Adrianne Palicki), a bedeviled board (Ouija, starring Olivia Cooke and Douglas Smith), and an inspirational gridiron tale (23 Blast, starring Mark Hapka and Alexa Vega). What do the critics have to say?

John Wick

86%

He’s taken some lumps over the years, but when it comes right down to it, Keanu Reeves is one of our most dependable action stars. Time will tell if John Wick will join Speed and The Matrix in the action movie pantheon, but critics say this is a stylish, briskly-paced thriller with terrific fight scenes and some sly humor. Reeves stars as a retired hitman reeling from the death of his wife when mob-affiliated hoods break into his house and kill his dog. Soon, our hero is back in the game — and practically every gangster in town is in fear for his life. The pundits say the Certified Fresh John Wick is the kind of muscular, full-throttle action flick that’s made with such skill and energy you’ll barely notice how thin the plot is. (Watch our video interview with Reeves.)

Ouija

6%

Ah, the mysterious Ouija board. Imbued with alleged occult powers, it’s been used to add spice to plenty of frightfests over the years, from 13 Ghosts to The Exorcist to Paranormal Activity. Now, everybody’s favorite board is ready for its close-up, but critics say Ouija fails to conjure much excitement aside from a few jump-scares. When a teenager dies in an accident, her friends attempt to contact her in the great beyond, awaking a malevolent spirit in the process. The pundits say Ouija is competently made but thoroughly bland and decidedly short on creepiness.

23 Blast

36%

Made with the best of intentions and based upon a remarkable true story, 23 Blast would seem to have all the pieces in place to wring tears from even the most hardened pigskin fans. Unfortunately, critics say the movie could use a lesson in clock management; despite fine acting from a group of seasoned pros, the film’s narrative is a little too slack. Travis Freeman (Mark Hapka) is a high school football player who loses his vision from an inflammation of meningitis, but with the help of his family and friends, he eventually returns to the field. The pundits say 23 Blast has a nice sense of place and a few touching moments, but it’s awfully predictable.

Certified Fresh on TV:

After a rollicking, action-packed premiere, The Walking Dead mellowed out a bit for its second episode; critics say “Strangers”(100 percent) settles into a more deliberate, dialogue-heavy groove while still maintaining suspense.

 

Critics were mixed (but mostly positive) for the latest episode of Sons of Anarchy, saying that while it relied too heavily on brutal plot twists for effect, saying goodbye to a familiar face gives “Greensleeves”(70 percent) some emotional weight.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Heart Machine, an indie thriller about a Manhattanite who suspects his long-distance girlfriend may be catfishing him, is at 100 percent.
  • Citizenfour, a documentary about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, is Certified Fresh at 98 percent.
  • Force Majeure , a black comedy about a Swedish family on a ski trip in the Alps dealing with the fallout from a powerful avalanche, is at 97 percent.
  • 1,000 Times Good Night , starring Juliette Binoche and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in a drama about an idealistic war photographer whose family fears for her safety, is at 65 percent.
  • Laggies, starring Keira Knightley and Chloe Grace Moretz in a drama about an aimless woman in her late 20s who befriends a teenager as an escape from adult responsibility, is at 62 percent.
  • Stonehearst Asylum, starring Kate Beckinsale and Ben Kingsley in a period thriller about a young doctor who discovers the inmates are literally running the asylum, is at 57 percent.
  • White Bird in a Blizzard, starring Shailene Woodley and Eva Green in a dark dramedy about a teenager’s response to the disappearance of her overbearing mother, is at 53 percent.
  • Alain ResnaisLife of Riley, a drama about a group of close friends dealing with the news that one member of their circle has a terminal illness, is at 50 percent.
  • Exists, a found-footage horror film about a group of friends trying to find evidence of Bigfoot while on vacation in rural Texas, is at 29 percent.
  • Low Down, starring John Hawkes and Elle Fanning in a drama about a heroin-addicted jazz pianist and his daughter, is at 18 percent.
  • Revenge of the Green Dragons, a thriller about a gang member who targets his old comrades after a love affair goes wrong, is at 14 percent.

With the seventh and final season of FX’s Sons of Anarchy premiering this week, Dan Deevy attended the red carpet premiere and chatted with some of the show’s stars — including Kim Coates (Tig Trager), Niko Nicotera (Ratboy), Courtney Love (Ms. Harrison), Mark Boone Junior (Bobby Munson), and Peter Weller (Charles Barosky) — as well as director/executive producer Paris Barclay. Check out the video to see them discuss the challenges of shooting the dark final season and talk about whether or not they think their characters will survive to the end. Also, Peter Weller tells us what he really thinks about Rotten Tomatoes.


Will you be watching the final season of Sons of Anarchy? Any predictions?

 


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Ep. 048 – New movies, plus John Erick & Drew Dowdle

Tim kicks off this week’s show with critics’ reactions to The Identical, and then Matt argues with the team about the merits of Forrest Gump. Ryan talks about new home video releases Draft Day and Night Moves, and then Sarah talks about the season premieres of Boardwalk Empire and Sons of Anarchy. In the second half of the show, Grae shares an interview with the Dowdle brothers, the team behind As Above/So Below, and they discuss shooting underground and their upcoming project with Pierce Brosnan.

Sons of Anarchy is back on FX for its seventh and final season on September 9. Take a look at the first minute-long trailer:

Season seven will feature a number of guest stars, including Marilyn Manson, Courtney Love, Jenna Jameson, Lea Michele, and Mathew St. Patrick. Will you be watching?

For more TV news, visit the Rotten Tomatoes TV Zone.

TV was the hot topic at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, with packed panels every day for the biggest shows — some of which haven’t even aired yet. See the hottest TV news to come out of SDCC, including updates for Game of Thrones and American Horror Story casting, a possible Sons of Anarchy prequel, and more superhero shows than you can shake a stick at!

Game of Thrones adds nine cast members for season five.

To kick off the Game of Thrones panel in San Diego on Friday, HBO shared a blooper reel from season four, proving that even Tywin Lannister gets tongue-tied. The panel also shared casting news about season five, announcing the addition of Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell; Toby Sebastian as Trystane Martell; Nell Tiger Free as Myrcella Baratheon; DeObia Oparei as Areo Hotah; Enzo Cilenti as Yezzan; Jessica Henwick as Nymeria (“Nym”) Sand; and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers as Tyene Sand. Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Runner) will join the cast as Prince Oberyn Martel’s bastard daughter Obara Sand, and Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean), whose appearance inspired a loud eruption from the crowd, will be playing the High Sparrow. As for George R.R. Martin’s involvement in penning upcoming episodes, he told Entertainment Weekly that he’ll be stepping aside this season, saying, “I’ve got this book that I have to finish.”

Sons of Anarchy teases a prequel.

Might Sons of Anarchy get its very own Better Call Saul-style prequel? Such was the tease during the SOA panel in San Diego on Sunday. The popular FX series will begin its seventh and final season on September 9, but the end of the show doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the SOA universe for fans. “We are having serious conversations about our prequel,” said creator Kurt Sutter. “My sense is right now that I don’t know if it will be a full-on series or a mini-series,” but he added that it definitely won’t be a “spin-off.” Also while inside SDCC’s famous Hall H, Sutter shared with fans the cover art for the first novelization of the series, Sons of Anarchy: Bratva, which jumps into the plot where season four of the show left off. Charlie Hunnam, the show’s lead who didn’t make Sunday’s panel, sent a message in the form of this video, poking fun at the fact that he was attending a photo shoot for Vogue instead of going to Comic-Con.

Marvel announces new Guardians of the Galaxy animated series.

With the Guardians of the Galaxy feature film hitting theaters this week, Comic-Con was the perfect time for Marvel to unveil its upcoming GOTG animated series on Disney XD. Marvel honchos Jeph Loeb, Stephen Wacker, Eric Radomski, and Cort Lane (along with Hulk voice actor Fred Tatasciore) attended the Marvel animation panel and showed a one-minute clip of the upcoming GOTG cartoon, which features the characters Rocket Raccoon and Star-Lord. Marvel also screened the whole first episode of Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors, premiering August 31 on Disney XD, in which Spidey pairs up with the Avengers. And attendees of Saturday’s panel were treated to clips of the now-confirmed second seasons of Avengers Assemble, and Hulk and the Agents Of S.M.A.S.H. Loeb, Marvel’s TV chief, told the crowd, “Enjoy the cartoons. That’s what you are supposed to do on a Saturday morning.”

John Carroll Lynch will “scare the s— out of you” in Freak Show.

While their Saturday night Comic-Con panel mostly focused on Coven, American Horror Story shared cast details for season four, including the addition of John Carroll Lynch (Zodiac, The Americans) as one of the show’s villains. According to exec producer Tim Minear, Lynch will play a character who will “scare the s— out of you,” rivaling the creepiness of season one’s Rubber Man, Asylum‘s Bloody Face and Coven‘s Minotaur. Minear also described Freak Show as “Douglas Sirk meets Zodiac.” Other details revealed the names of the new characters with Emma Roberts as Maggie; Sarah Paulson as Bette and Dot Tattler; Kathy Bates as Effil Darling; Michael Chiklis as Wendell Del Toredo; Angela Bassett as Desiere Dupree; Evan Peters as Jimmy Darling; and Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars. Paulson, who plays conjoined twins, admitted that she doesn’t know why, but Bette is her favorite.

The Flash, Constantine, Arrow, and Gotham have biggest Comic-Con panel ever.

A total of 33 panelists appeared at DC’s TV program on Friday night that featured full episodes of the upcoming shows The Flash (The CW) and Gotham (Fox), plus a new trailer for Constantine (NBC), and a teaser for season three of Arrow (The CW). The panel, called “Warner Bros. Television Presents a Night of DC Entertainment,” was introduced by Arrow star Stephen Amell, who brought on actors Ben McKenzie, Grant Gustin, and Matt Ryan. Geoff Johns of DC Comics hosted the cast and producers of all four shows in a presentation to a full house of 6,500 people in Hall H. Gotham premieres on Fox on September 22; The Flash on The CW October 7; Arrow on The CW October 8; and Constantine on NBC October 24.

Peter Berg‘s football drama "Friday Night Lights" will soon a prime-time series for NBC, according to Variety.

""Lights" is said to be on the development fast track at NBC, with an eye on a fall 2006 bow. That would coincide with the return of the NFL to NBC — giving the Peacock a perfect promo platform for the project.

Berg directed and co-wrote "Friday Night Lights," the gritty 2004 drama starring Billy Bob Thornton as the coach of a small-town high school football team during the 1980s. U and Imagine Films produced the pic, which grossed just over $61 million."

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